Activity Outlook

Weekly Meteor Activity Outlook articles by Bob Lunsford. Bob gives outlooks to upcoming meteor activity about once a week. He features showers from the working list of meteor showers as well as suspected radiants. Please refer only to the radiants of the Working list of visual meteor showers in observing reports.

Meteor Activity Outlook for January 8-14, 2011

During this period the moon reaches its first quarter phase on Wednesday January 12th. At this time the moon lies ninety degrees east of the sun and sets near midnight LST (Local Standard Time). This weekend the waxing crescent moon will set during the mid-evening hours allowing a majority of the night to be free from interfering moonlight. The estimated total hourly rates for evening observers this week is near three from the northern hemisphere and three for observers south of the equator. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near eighteen from the northern hemisphere and sixteen as seen from the southern hemisphere.

Meteor Activity Outlook for January 1-7, 2011

January sees a peak of sporadic activity for the southern hemisphere while rates seen north of the equator begin a steady downward turn that continues throughout the first half of the year. The sporadic activity is good for both hemispheres, but not as good as it was for northern observers in December. Once the Quadrantids have passed the shower activity for January is very quiet.

During this period the moon reaches its new phase on Tuesday January 4th. At this time the moon lies near the sun and is not visible at night.

Meteor Activity Outlook for December 25-31

During this period the moon reaches its last quarter phase on Tuesday December 28th. At this time the moon lies ninety degrees west of the sun and rises near midnight local standard time (LST) for those located in the mid-northern latitudes. With the moon waning and rising later each morning, this opens up another opportunity to view meteor activity under improving conditions. The estimated total hourly rates for evening observers this week is near four from the northern hemisphere and three for observers south of the equator. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near fifteen from the northern hemisphere and twelve as seen from the southern hemisphere.

Meteor Activity Outlook for December 18-24, 2010

During this period the moon reaches its full phase on Tuesday December 21st. At this time the moon lies opposite the sun and is above the horizon all night long from most locations. This is the worst time to attempt to view meteor activity as the bright moonlight will obscure all but the brightest meteors. The estimated total hourly rates for evening observers this week is near three from the northern hemisphere and two for observers south of the equator. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near ten from the northern hemisphere and nine as seen from the southern hemisphere.

Meteor Activity Outlook for December 11-17, 2010

No matter where you live, the first half of December provides some of the best meteor activity of the year. In the northern hemisphere the sporadic rates are still strong plus you can also count on strong activity from the Geminids, which peak on December 14. There are also several minor radiants that add a few meteors each hour. All of these centers of activity are located high in the sky during the early morning hours this time of year. Much of the activity mentioned above can also be seen from the southern hemisphere. While the sporadic rates are not as strong as those seen from the north, they are stronger than the previous months and heading for a maximum in January.

Meteor Activity Outlook for November 6-12, 2010

As seen from the northern hemisphere, meteor rates continue to be strong in November. While no major activity is expected this month, the two Taurid radiants plus the Leonids keep the skies active. The addition of strong sporadic rates make November one of the better months to view meteor activity from north of the equator. Skies are fairly quiet as seen from the southern hemisphere this month.